Ladyman predicts medication u-turn

    Community care minister Stephen Ladyman said this week that the
    National Institute for Clinical Excellence’s proposal that four
    Alzheimer’s drugs should no longer be available on the NHS could be
    reversed following consultation.

    He told the annual long-term care for older people conference,
    held in London, that several of Nice’s preliminary recommendations
    had been overturned in the past and added: “My guess is that [this
    recommendation] will change.” However, he defended Nice’s
    proposals, saying “for many people, evidence suggests these drugs
    do not work at all”.

    Although Nice has concluded the drugs are beneficial, it has
    decided that the £2.50 per person per day cost of the drugs
    make them too expensive for the NHS.

    Nice’s proposal has been strongly opposed, with the Royal
    College of Psychiatrists arguing that Nice’s latest advice on
    Donepezil, Rivastigmine, Galantamine and Memantine contradicts its
    2001 guidance.

    The Alzheimer’s Society said it was “shocked” by the
    recommendations, which could mean thousands of people being denied
    the only drug treatment available to them. “Nice seems to have
    concluded that people with dementia are a group of people not worth
    spending money on,” said chief executive Neil Hunt.


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